One of the questions I received before I left for Christmas was how do I get so much done. Blogging almost every day and studying and farming and running a home.

I think the first answer is that I have no intention of finishing everything except the things that are time sensitive. Like delivering eggs on time – or getting my invoices out on time. Otherwise I work each day in specific parts

Secondly I do not have a television.

I actually time my days work. I write the blog between 5 and 7. Except this morning because I slept in a bit. Housework until 8. I will farm until 10am. Then study until 12. I begin dinner at two and walk out the door for chores at 3. And so on. In fact I plan my day to these times as though I am endlessly catching a train but not late. This works easily if you are working alone. People mess up strict timetables like this!

And, of course, there are adjustments made due to the sun so as the days get longer so do my days. Like any animal I am influenced by the sun.

I pause every few hours and try to consciously look around ( I call it standing on one foot) and see where I am in my day.

And ALWAYS I set up my tomorrow the day before. I have the sprouts ready, my clothes ready, my desk set up in the order of my work. For example I am delivering eggs today so I wrote all the labels last night and put everything I need- labels, pen, list and duck boxes in their bag by the door. ( the eggs are all in Jakes big walk in cooler).

Today I am going to investigate whether my new computer can read my English study text aloud TO me so I can multi task – plus I learn better on my feet – so I have the directions to do those new settings printed and on top of my work ready to experiment until 10 which is study time.

Today’s pig buckets are already mixed. The hay thrown down.

This way I start every day AHEAD of the game.

Also I REFUSE to go shopping more than once a week ( or longer if I can get away with it) then I do it all.

I keep a very detailed diary. ( then forget to look at it).

Two black slate boards grace the walls of the kitchen and the cloakroom with lists of things to do and things to acquire.

Anyway – that is all I know about organizing myself.

Though be sure to return to my first sentence. I am well aware that I won’t get everything finished- so to keep sane I allow myself time to plod through and when the time is up – I wander over to the next job and work on that for a while. No worries that way!

I am writing this In overtime without double checking the work so I bet there are other things too. Time and motion is a favorite study of mine so my hands are seldom empty.

Everyone has their own systems designed by us to suit ourselves – I think the trick is to design a system that best suits your style. Or at least consciously design a system. Then remember to adjust it often!!

I take a few minutes every now and then to assess my personal and professional achievements and look for improvements. Then make sure I am on track. Not reflect, that is too passive. Assess. Objectively. No recriminations, no blame, just a simple ‘oops – could have done that better’. Assess only yourself. Accept responsibility for your own work. Love the problem. Then work the problem. This is actually harder than it sounds. But personal and good – not for sharing.

Life is full of change. Tons of fun. And Very short and very long all at the same time and one person can have a HUGE impact.

Have a great day.


WEATHER: nasty winds today.

63 Comments on “PERSONALLY

  1. I grinned when I saw your reference to time and motion. My dad was an industrial engineer for Maytag, so I learned all about time and motion studies when I was about five. Maybe younger.

    And yes, ma’am, on the television. I got rid of mine in 2011 after my mother died. I’ve also made a choice to refuse involvement in social media. That doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s been good for me. And of course my days are controlled by the weather, too. No one can work on boats in the rain, and even fog or high wind can preclude varnishing. So flexibility is the name of my game. I can plan, but every morning the first task is the weather check. And, yes: the length of the work day depends on the length of the sunlit day.

  2. Your Mac can definitely do text to speech. Whether you like the voices or not is another matter. It will also perform voice activated tasks – if you can think of something you want it to do. Sadly it can’t milk cows or feed pigs 😉

  3. I used to get so much done before the internet but I have learned how to do so many things because of it. I even diagnosed my own foot condition. But being bored sparks productivity, because I remember being so much more productive. I have now begun to limit my time on the computer to before the barn and after the barn chores.

  4. What a great post! This has really helped a lot. I need to get more organized. I always put it off. Thanks for great ideas.

  5. This is a wonderful post. The photos make me think of home although I haven’t lived on a farm since I was a small child. God bless you and keep the post coming I truly enjoy them.

  6. Yes, the biggest thieves of time in my house – TV And laptop/ internet. You are organised and self disciplined, and I love your blogs and pictures. Laura

  7. Love the problem, then work the problem. That’s a great way to look at the many snags of life. I think I will remind myself of that often.

  8. I just love your photos today; the colour is beyond peaceful. Ha! But like the peaceful appearing swan gliding over the lake, her feet are paddling like mad below the surface.
    I also love your system of time management, I.e. don’t work til the job is done but, instead, until it’s time for the next job. I could benefit from that. It’s likely very basic but not something I have practised…. before now, that is.
    Hope you’re able to finish a few jobs today. ~ Mame 😜

  9. Self-disciplined. That’s key. You don’t waste time wringing your hands over spilled milk—or fret you might spill some in the future.

    Why does a person promise herself to do something then not/never do it. Yet would never renege on a promise to another person—any person.

  10. So interesting to read how organization makes so much productivity possible. Over a long lifetime I have tried to get organized 100s of times. Planners, more shelves, lists, exercizes, all to no avail. I am an artist & have been told that’s my excuse. It’s not my excuse, but a possible explanation. Oh, but I do envy the look of your organized desk & the fulfilled tick, tick slots of your day. Fortunately no one depends on me these days for much of anything, but an old cat for his dinner. And he is a no worries kind of guy.

  11. My dream is to get rid of the tv. Alas, I have others in my home not so keen on the idea…Perhaps one day. Definitely noticed that no TV days are way more productive.

  12. Thanks for this I really enjoyed reading about your day since you’re so incredibly organized. It was very inspiring.

  13. Over the years of farming and holding down a job in town (sometimes two jobs at the same time) and raising four kids, many animals and always the every day of housework…I do much like you…everything on a loose time schedule. Works well…and I ONLY DUST ONCE A MONTH!!! I detest dusting. Just say’n.

  14. What wonderful photos! The coloring reminds me of the first colored postcards. Delicious color! We have two TV’s, but no one ever watches them. I tend to stay away from the media hype myself – too much of a downer, and I don’t have time for it. Enjoyed your time management seminar, Miss C.! Thanks! Sunny19

  15. Cecilia, the farm looks so much different in the winter! (Wearing short sleeves for farm work today in Tennessee, I feel so spoiled.)

    I enjoyed your post. Travelling so much has really made me see the utmost importance of being disciplined, figuring out good routine, and having clear goals. Without it, my life could easily slip into aimlessness and lost opportunities… I have really great memories and learned a lot from watching your routine and trying to keep up alongside you. And it definitely inspired me to make more out of my time at other places I’ve been.

    One more thing (you’ve probably made mention of on posts I have not read yet), I am really curious what you are doing with sprouts. Is that something you’re selling?

  16. Lovely photos today… light and shadows always appeal, to me they signify the promise of the day to come or its successful culmination and time to rest. It makes sense that you prioritise time sensitive things and have a schedule for working on the rest. I call what I do triage… sorting the critical from non. I write everything down, in my diary, on post-it notes and/or fridge blackboard but much of it is moveable across days. The act of writing tasks down gets them out of my head.

  17. I’m glad you’ve built in time to ‘stand and stare’, or I’d be missing these posts… I have a shiftworker husband, so I also have to get certain things done by a certain time, or can only allocate certain times to certain activities. It works, so long as you’re disciplined. And my only social media activity is blogging, I don’t do Instagram or Facebook, which probably saves a huge amount of time, and TV is just to help the Husband wind down before bed. To be honest, even with the breakdown of time you’ve given, I still have no idea how you get through so much, but I like the idea that you do what you must first, then what you can.

  18. Another time-and-motion person here. well taught by my parents: lists. lists and more lists – needed preferences all day and ticks which please 🙂 ! But living rurally I could not do without my TV both free and paid: from it I get opera, symphony, chamber music, drama and art from all around the world, even if second-hand!! All the political and economic panel shows/ Cooking around the world, architecture, design, geography, history, philosophical thought . . . .haven’t watched a ‘soapie’ in over three decades and only one film all last year . . . .oh, the unforgettable World Cup snow sports in Scandinavia just now have been magnificent and shall be off to the beginning of the road cycling season in South Australia in a few days . . . . wonderful stimulation . . . . . .

  19. Your work program very much reminds me of lean production. Some people think it is only for the factory, but it can be applied anywhere. The essential definition is ‘continuous improvement’ – if we look at one thing in our lives and improve it every day, and learn from our mistakes, then we are following lean principles. I have found them to be very useful in my own life.

      • I’m sure you’ve heard of Stephen Covey’s book ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ – even if you haven’t, you seem to already have the steps in place! His books are brilliant, I try to re-read ‘7 habits’ once a year as a refresher. It’s not exactly lean principles but it still follows them in some ways.

  20. I love your schedule and find it inspiring. I tend to get caught up in one thing so I like the idea of moving on to the next activity when it is time. Funny thing- I have mentioned to friends and family, all the same age that my goal is to give up my television completely and the result was surprising. Derision. Not just disagreement but serious consideration of my sanity. I do a lot of knitting projects, many for charity, so my rule is if I watch TV I must be knitting. Also interesting is that I find my time by myself, reading, or writing, or planning is wonderful. Peace and quiet. Thanks for the ever on going inspiration

  21. Yet another reason why the only part of my hap-hazard schedule that is fixed and on time is a morning visit here.

    • Hullo Shweta! I hope you have come here to practice your English because I am studying to teach English to people who want to learn a new language. Comment often so we can help you!

  22. This really is incredible. i hope to have you’re discipline one day. I would love to read a blog about ‘tips to be more productive for beginners’ because as most 20-somethings, i am struggling with a 9-5 +2 hour commute and getting dinner ready (if ever) and going to the gym.

  23. I need to employ a few of your ideas on time management. I don’t watch much TV, but when I do, what a waste. Used to get more chores done when I kept a time schedule of my days – the weekends would not get away from me that way. Thanks for the reminders!

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